The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world economy, as well as people’s mental and physical health. City streets are no longer busy with people heading to work or to the shops. Trains pass by with little to no people on board.
Despite the negatives, there have been some positives to emerge from the lockdown. Which include record-low air pollution due to lack of planes in the sky and cars on the road. With significant progress made in a short period of time. Now the governments and commuters are looking for more sustainable forms of transport. The form that encourages social distancing – with electric scooters becoming a front-runner.
Electric scooters are a great two-wheeled vehicle to help people to adjust to life post-pandemic – they’re low cost, easy to maintain, and their agile nature help riders avoid traffic coming in and out of the city during peak hour.
What are the benefits of an electric scooter?
As lockdowns start to ease, cities are trying to work out how they can transport people safely during their daily commute. BBC London got hold of a leaked Transport for London (TfL) report that showed the huge strain the Tube would be under in order to stick to strict social distancing guidelines.
During rush hour, over 300,000 people board the Tube every 15 minutes. But with social distancing, only a maximum of 80,000 people would be able to board in the same time frame.
People who are worried about catching the virus won’t feel comfortable catching public transport. So cities are looking at other ways to help people commute. Ways include creating more car-free zones in CBDs so pedestrians, cyclists, and electric vehicle riders can get around while maintaining their distance from one another.
Making Your Life Better
Many people have acclimatized to working from home. So the thought of spending hours commuting to and from work again is far from appealing. Electric scooters allow riders to avoid peak hour traffic, so not only are they a quicker option in big cities. But it makes getting to work less stressful especially when running late. These small, two-wheeled vehicles can save people the hassle of finding parking. It can be easily folded up and kept under an office desk during the day.
As technology becomes more advanced, newer electric scooter models feature extended range. For example, the Raine One e-scooter has an impressive range of 40km, which allows commuters to reach their destination well before they need to recharge. It also has a fast-charging time of 5 hours, so by the time the workday is over, the rider can commute home on a fully charged e-scooter.
Electric scooter companies are also constantly improving the uphill capabilities of their models so commutes are effortless and enjoyable. For those of us who live in hilly areas, the thought of having to cycle uphill is far from appealing. Some e-scooter models are capable of riding up hills with an incline of up to 15 degrees so riders can traverse inclines with ease.
Has the pandemic sped up the process of redesigning our cities?
In Australia, Melbourne’s City Council has created more space for pedestrians and new temporary bike lanes to allow people to socially distance as restrictions start to ease. This means cyclists, pedestrians, and electric vehicle riders will have more space to get around the city easily.
During the lockdown, road traffic fell by 88 percent, and more people are choosing to get around on electric scooters. It’s hoped that if this trial in Melbourne is successful that these temporary changes will become permanent to encourage people to switch their mode of transport. Similar pop-up bike lanes have appeared in European cities as people ask for more space to get around.
The coronavirus pandemic has offered us a new perspective. How our cities can operate in an eco-friendlier and less crowded manner. We are in uncharted territory, but hopefully, when this is over and normal life begins. To resume, changes would’ve been made to our everyday routine that will provide long-term benefits.
Are e-scooters a long-term solution?
As lockdowns around the world begin to end and more people head back to the office. Inevitably more cars will be on the road. However, electric scooter laws are changing and the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the process of getting these vehicles on the road.
In April this year, New York finally legalized electric bikes and scooters. This has been a huge win for delivery workers and commuters in the city. As they can finally get around much faster than before. Similarly, the UK has decided to allow e-scooters to be ridden as of June this year. All due to the coronavirus changing the way people can get from A to B. UK cities will finally be on the same level as their European counterparts. Some of whom adopted e-scooters over ten years ago.
In closing, the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the process of introducing e-scooters in cities that previously didn’t allow them on the road. This is great news for everyone, as not only will electric scooters allow cities to be more sustainable in the future. But they will take the strain off public transport networks.